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EDITORIAL: Who's the daddy - Windows Mobile of course, or is it?

Story added: 26 Jul 2006 17:15

A while ago we got a call from the Microsoft heavies asking why we never reviewed games for the most powerful mobile devices on the market, namely Pocket PCs (PPCs) and Smartphones that use Windows Mobile 5 (WM5).

You've probably seen the adverts around the train and tube stations and Microsoft are definitely trying to push this system. They clearly want to get their market share while there's little competition from Apple. Whether Apple will jump in bed with RIM to create an Appleberry with extra vitamin C is yet to be confirmed but something is bound to happen soon.

While Apple twiddle their fingers, the timing for Microsoft is pretty good as more and more operators are giving free mobile internet bundles. Guess which handsets have the biggest screens to make browsing as user friendly as possible? Yup its Pocket PCs running Windows Mobile. I've been using the T-Mobile MDA for a few months now and it didn't take too long to realise it was running Microsoft under its hood. When they work, you can hear the Ferrari purr but these devices are Fiats at heart and as you would probably expect, they are prone to cutting out on you while zooming along the technological highway. The one saving grace is the loss of the error messages, the handset will just freeze and a quick reboot doesn??????t take too long. I much prefer a frozen screen to ??????Error ??????? you should not be reading this error message??????. Having said that, my little MDA is more powerful than my parents?????? computer.

So, we now have mobile phones that are more powerful than Pentium 2 computers, they have touch screens and some decent RAM, surely WM5 devices will have the best games that money can buy for the mobile generation. Money is the key as always. Standard Java/J2ME games (generally less than 200kb) can cost a few quid, move up to the more powerful Symbian games (<800kb) and the price rises slightly too. Using this law of economics, it shouldn??????t come as a surprise that for a whopping 3 or 4 Mb WM5 game, you can expect to pay around the ???10/$20 mark.

Gaming on Windows Mobile will never compete with the DS/PSP but that??????s not the point ??????? just ask the hundreds of java developers out there. Thanks to T-Mobile, Orange and the rest of the operators, PPCs are becoming more and more prevalent and are no longer restricted to the mobile business user and the mobile business user is no longer restricted to the Blackberry. As these Pocket PCs are being used more and more, we thought it was time to extend our reviews to cover Windows Mobile devices and games. For a ???10 game, you are entitled to expect a graphically impressive and long lasting game. As with ???5 java games, some games will satisfy and some will make you want to hurl. Mobile Game Faqs will give it to you straight and our reviews will help you avoid forking out a tenner for a rubbish game when you could have gone down to the Colonel and bought yourself a bucket.

Reporting by Costas Stephanides (Editor)

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